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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

South Brooklyn Railway Track Plan as of 9/29/1960

Source:  B. Linder, Part 10, South Brooklyn's Trolley Operations, ERA Bulletin, October, 1976, p.8. (From a drawing dated September 29, 1960)

This line drawing, drawn in 1960 needs some explanation because there is a gap in the map.  Here are some of the points:
  • The map does not show which trackage is under trolley wire or associated with third rail.  From my memory and seeing past diagrams, trolley wire extended from 4th Avenue and 38th Street, just west of the 4th Avenue overpass to the waterfront.
  • From 4th Avenue and east, the SBRR tracks joined the subway tracks currently used by the West End Line (D Train) and also formerly used by the Culver Line that either ran to 36 th Street and 4th Avenue or Chambers Street in Manhattan.
  • The trackage from the junction with the West End Line to 9th Avenue Station is not shown.  This was jointly operated with subway trains using third rail and had an interesting passage through an elderly two track brick lined tunnel that is in use today. 
  • The two platformed 9th Avenue station shown is really on the lower level beneath the West End Line and was used by the Culver Line until 1975.  This was the same station where a popular film was shot. (Crockodile Dundee?)
  • Approximately east of Fort Hamiliton Parkway trolley wire began and was hanging at this point under the Culver El.
  • From this point and south, most SRBB trackage was either in a private right of way or in street trackage under the Culver Line to approximately Avenue Y where trackage meet up with the BMT Coney Island Yard.
  • Notice the various sidings, particularly between 13th and 14th Avenues and 37th Street, under the 13th Avenue Station that I posted a photograph of.
  • Notice the various coal sidings and Fisher's siding.
  • It is hard to believe that at this time, the trolley overhead was still charged and in use even though trolley operations stopped on McDonald Avenue on October 31, 1956 and all trolleybus service stopped in Brooklyn on July 27, 1960.  I believe the wire was still charged until 1961 and the overhead was removed by 1965.  There may have been a historic trolley run using a vintage Scandinavian trolley under SBRR trackage on 37th Street in 1961 by Electric Railroader's Association.


  1. Picture here of said trolley on SBRR tracks in 1961:

  2. Hi Evan:

    Thanks for your e-mail. Your shot is better than the one I obtained from the Trolley Museum.

    Tramway Null(0)

  3. About the Swedish trolley picture, I'd like to know if this shot was taken at Avenue I or at Ditmas Avenue? I can't quite make out enough detail. I grew up when everything was running on McDonald, but at Ave. I, with the interchange and all the New Haven RR action. I also once raced the South Brooklyn engine on my bike right through the bocceball court.


    1. Hi Richard. Thanks for your input. Sorry for getting back to you so late. When you look at the South Brooklyn Railway Track Map dated 9/29/60, you do see the lead to the Parkville Yard and then a crossover in this direction /. Elsewhere in my blog, I have of a map drawn by H. Raudenbush in February, 1961 that shows the former trolley trackage as well. The map dated 9/29/1960 does not show the historic trolley reversing loop at Kensington Junction, underneath the Ditmas Avenue station of which my blog has shots of. In addition, the Trolley Museum of New York that owns the Swedish car has the photo of the car with the title "79 Negotiates a Crossover on Mc Donald Avenue, Brooklyn" with no further information. I believe the photo was taken under the Avenue I station for the following reasons: 1) No crossover "/" in this style exists between Ditmas Avenue and Avenue Z, 2) If the photo was under taken under Ditmas Avenue, the crossover does not have this configuration, it is a reversing loop, 3) If the photo was at Ditmas Avenue, you would see the elevated structure curve to the west towards the 13th Avenue Station, 4) There was fewer buildings on the east side of McDonald Avenue between Cortelyou and Ditmas around 1956 to 1961 and 5) I believe the trolley and SBRR tracks were not paved south of Ditmas Avenue around 1956. I am not sure when the tracks were surrounded by asphalt but you can see that the Swedish Trolley shot the surface is paved over. It is ironic that a few hours after you submitted your comments, another reader submitted a comment dealing with the same area, specifically East 2nd Street and Ditmas which according to this commenter, a historic baseball field existed almost at the location what we are talking about.
      Thanks for your input. I am sorry the tracks and wires were removed under the El. It would have made some awesome historic trolley line.
      My best, Tramway Null(0)